Forum OpenACS Development: oacs mailing list manager plus db-backed email store plus bboard-style webmail thoughts
I'm interested in the community's thoughts on the feasability and desireability of some or all of this.
Further, I want to fulfill the following use cases:
1. oacs integrates with postfix/qmail/your MTA and can then manage mailing list subscriptions, mail thread archival and search web UI
2. oacs provides webUI not only as provider of webmail for personal accounts but also as a 'view' for ongoing email conversations. This is a little complicated to explain, so I'll give the most immediate example:
I want to carry out a conversation using thick email clients sometimes, but be able to refer to the conversations *in threaded viewing mode, like a bboard* over the web; also I want my partner in an email exchange to be able (given login credentials and permission by the thread owner) to also view and comment in bboard-style threaded form our shared email conversation. Sorta like a lightweight, conversation-specific shared webmail. Does that make sense?
It would seem that the following might need to be implemented to make that happen: email storage to db converter/daemon (e.g. the 'quick hack' for qmail would be to let qmail reliably write to maildir, but have a daemon scanning and atomically committing new emails into the oacs db); email<->threaded bboard view webUI (this could be bboards with knowledge of the email db table); and finally use bboard editor + notification + new mailing list/personal mail glue code to convert from web back to emails. Alternatively, this could be some mixture or extension of either bboards or webmail (?)
Ok, so to split out the above use case #2 a little more clearly:
-I compose email to a friend.
=> I can view and even perform composing using a webmail plugin (oacs has one+ implementations available I believe--I haven't tried yet).
-my friend writes back. I can receive in my traditional mail client, or I can view response in webmail, or I can view response in special threaded bboard-style 'webmail' view
-I can respond as if my email exchange is a thread in bboard view (this is the novel functionality)
-I can grant my friend (having already an oacs login) the ability to read/write to our email bboard-style thread, so in effect he gets webmail access to a single thread of conversation with me
Why do I want the email to be db-backed? Ultimately for all the fun things one can do with metadata. E.g. I can set up a mailing list that is for cvs commits and then do metrics on email parts that are stored in the db. Further, I can index without having to have htdig or other moving parts in the filesystem. All sorts of interesting automation becomes more accessible as email (e.g. mime parts) is subjected to a relational model.... :)
As for the first use case, I am looking into how ezmlm-idx-pgsql addresses managing subscriptions for qmail using pg. Eventually I hope to port most of the mailing list manager features to oacs...
Lastly, who cares? Or important to me: who might be interested or already working on parts of this? I am aware of integration with qmail for notifications etc. from this post:
This post talks about the constant desire for mailing list management from many in the community, but nothing seems to have been done...
(first, I don't know what the etiquette should be regarding similar posts: e.g. there are a couple of previous threads that deal with this subject, but adding my comment would seem to not 'bump' the thread to the top of the bboard interface like in other bboard systems; hence I repost for maximal exposure--sorry. Second, my comment perhaps should be its own post... you decide)